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Inter-agency mobility

A mobile and agile public sector workforce makes good business sense. Employees also benefit from gaining cross-agency perspectives. It increases their awareness and understanding of whole of government priorities. Mobility can also assist in building and strengthening relationships between agencies. This is important because many of the issues the Australian Public Service (APS) must address do not fall neatly within a single agency’s boundaries. Collaboration is required.

“Over 80% of APS level employees have only worked in one agency”

APS employees can move from one APS agency to another and maintain employment continuity. Mobility occurs through transfers and promotions. Transfers at level are the most common way of moving between agencies and are consistently higher than the number of promotions each year.

Over the past 15 years mobility rates have fluctuated between 1.1% and 3.1% of the APS workforce. Mobility rates declined markedly between 2012 and 2014 as a consequence of interim recruitment arrangements. During this period the advertising and filling of roles in the APS was tightly controlled. The total workforce reduced through this period. Mobility increased during 2015 when recruitment arrangements were streamlined.

Ongoing employees: Transfer, promotion and mobility rates between agencies, 2000–01 to 2014–15

Learn more about this chart: view data for Figure 1.

This year 2,294 employees moved between APS agencies. 1,701 of these movements were the result of APS employees moving to new roles in policy and larger operational agencies.

Agencies employees moved to in 2015

Learn more about this chart: view data for Figure 2

Mobility increases with classification. Over 80% of all employees at each classification from APS 1 to APS 4 have worked in only one agency. At the other end of the scale, most of the Senior Executive Service (SES) have worked in at least two to three agencies, with over a third of those at the SES band 3 classification having worked in four or more agencies. Senior leaders benefit from exposure to a range of experiences and operating environments.

Ongoing employees by classification and number of agencies worked in, 30 June 2015

Learn more about this chart: view data for Figure 3.

Last reviewed: 
8 July 2018